Virtual Real Estate: Fad Or Fortune?

Virtual Real Estate: Fad Or Fortune?

 February 17, 2022

Facebook’s recent rebranding to “Meta” signals a high degree of confidence held by Facebook executives that a “Meteverse” is the future domain of social media, and perhaps much more. Gaming, shopping, and entertainment venues are all possible attractions in the Metaverses of tomorrow, and much like the brick-and-mortar venues of the Real World, each of them will reside on a parcel of real estate (“virtual” real estate, that is). So it’s no surprise that metaverses are already selling parcels of their virtual real estate at a premium. Only time will tell if these virtual properties will hold their value, but many fearless investors are betting they will.


A metaverse is a virtual world or universe that can be navigated by users similar to a traditional “open world” video game. But rather than a world populated by mindless NPC’s (non-playable characters), the metaverse is populated by other users like you. And instead of the mere facades you would find in a video game approximating the appearance of homes and buildings, a metaverse might be covered in virtual homes, buildings, and other creations that can be constructed, bought, and sold by the users themselves. Steven Spielberg’s “Ready Player One” offers a glimpse into the future of what metaverses might become, where the realism of the metaverse rivals that of the real world. But that level of fidelity is a long way off, as the current Metaverses are quite limited and low-fi in comparison. For now...


In a metaverse, a user could purchase a parcel of real estate, construct an attractive or otherwise desirable creation on it, and resell the parcel at a greater cost. A user could also purchase the real estate adjoining a number of “virtual businesses”, speculating that the parcel will eventually increase in value due to its proximity to a growing “virtual business district”. In other words, virtual real estate is a commodity much like real estate in the real world. And it’s not inconceivable to think that one day, “Virtual Real Estate Agent” might be a real occupation (along with many other “virtual” occupations). But for now, it’s not so complicated to buy your virtual parcel. First choose a metaverse that sells real estate (not all of them do), create your account, transfer money to your digital wallet, and start shopping! These metaverse platforms want your money, and they do not make it hard to buy, sell, or even rent your property. But remember that this is a highly speculative investment, and many of the metaverses currently in existence may not be around 10 years from now. If your chosen metaverse loses popularity and goes offline, your real estate investment does too.


At this time, virtual real estate seems like a risky investment at best. Unlike real estate on Earth (the “real” Earth), virtual real estate is not finite. There are an infinite number of worlds that could be created in an infinite number of metaverses, and without scarcity, there is no value. Perhaps the most popular real estate in the most popular metaverse will be valuable one day. On the other hand, “Metaverses” might be a completely forgotten concept 5-10 years from now. Only time will tell if “virtual real estate” will be a savvy investment to get in on early (a la “Bitcoin”), or if it is just another fad that will fade away like 3d televisions or POGs from the 90’s.

P.S. Nothing in this post should be taken as financial advice. The opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the opinions of iHOUSEweb.

Kevin Ashley

By Kevin Ashley

Kevin is a Web Developer and Marketing Expert for iHOUSEweb. He has a degree in Mathematics from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and he specializes in front end web development, web advertising, and web analytics. Kevin works closely with real estate agents all over the US, and he helps to communicate their needs to the team of Software Engineers at iHOUSEweb.